1 Clement 4-6

(4.1) For as it is written, “And it happened after some days, that Kain brought a sacrifice to God from the fruits of the earth, and Abel also brought (a sacrifice), from the firstborn of the flocks, and from their fat.

(4.2) “And God looked with favor on Abel and on his gifts; He did not look with favor on Kain and on his sacrifices.

(4.3) “And Kain was greatly grieved and his face fell.

(4.4) “And God said to Kain, ‘Why are you sad, and why has your face fallen? If you offered rightly, but did not divide rightly, have you not sinned?

(4.5) “’Be quiet. To you is its return, and you will rule it.’

(4.6) “And Kain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let’s go to the field.’ And it happened that when they were in the field, Kain rose against Abel his brother and killed him.”

(4.7) You see, brethren? Envy and jealousy bring about fratricide.

(4.8) Because of envy our father Jacob fled from the face of Esau his brother.

(4.9) Envy made Joseph persecuted nearly to death, up to entering slavery.

(4.10) Envy forced Moses to flee from the face of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, at his hearing from his tribesmen, “Who made you a judge or ruler over us? Will you murder me in the way you murdered the Egyptian yesterday?”

(4.11) Because of envy, Aaron and Miriam stayed outside the camp.

(4.12) Envy brought down Dathan and Abiram alive into Hades through their rebellion against the servant of God, Moses.

(4.13) Because of envy, David earned the hatred not only of foreigners, but was even persecuted by Saul, King of Israel.

(5.1) But so that we might leave the ancient examples, let us rather come to those more recently living (spiritual) athletes; let us take up the noble examples of our own generation.

(5.2) Because of envy and jealousy the greatest and most righteous pillars were persecuted, and competed until death.

(5.3) Let us put before our eyes the good apostles.

(5.4) Peter, who because of unrighteous envy endured afflictions neither once nor twice, but many times, having thus been martyred, proceeded to the promised place of glory.

(5.5) Because of envy and strife, Paul directed attention to the prize of endurance.

(5.6) Seven times wearing bonds, being banished, being stoned, being a herald in the east and in the west, he received illustrious fame for his faith.

(5.7) Having taught righteousness to the whole world, and having come to the extreme limits of the west, and having been martyred by the rulers, he was thus released from the world and taken up into the holy place, being a magnificent example of patience.

(6.1) To these men who conducted their lives in holiness are added a great multitude of the chosen, whoever because of envy suffered many tortures and torments, being most beautiful examples among us.

(6.2) Because of envy, women were persecuted, Danaids and Dirkai having suffered fearful and unholy torments. Having finished the race by their secure faith, the weak of body took up the illustrious prize.

(6.3) Envy has estranged married women from men and changed the saying by our father Adam, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.”

(6.4) Envy and strife has ruined great cities and uprooted great nations.


  1. Forgot to ask — Any particular reason that St. Clement calls the women “Danaids” and “Dircai”? I mean, is he making a classical reference or a classical comparison? Because _the_ Danaids were the ladies who murdered their husbands and buried their heads, so I’m assuming that’s not what he’s getting at. Does he just mean “Greek women”?

    *Googles like she should have done before asking*

    Oooooh. He’s saying that in the arena they had to recreate the fate of the Danaids in the underworld — carrying water in a leaky jar — and of Dirce — getting tied to an angry bull’s horns. Yuck.

    Wikipedia finds the darndest picture sources.

  2. I’m glad you’re enjoying it, Maureen, so am I!

    The “Danaids and Dirkai” reference is very likely a circumlocution describing their being raped before their execution by whatever means.

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